Matthew Devey

Employment Partner, Frankfurt

“A fluent German speaker and Rechtsanwalt, I concentrate on employment law. I particularly enjoy advising the firm’s international clients on all aspects of German employment law and managing their cross-border and multijurisdictional projects.”


Professional experience

Education and qualifications


Matthew leads the employment and benefits team in the firm’s Frankfurt office. He advises clients (including private equity clients and investment houses) on a wide range of German and cross-border employment law issues, including advising on transfers of undertakings, staff changes and exits, non-compete issues and management hiring, retention and changes. He frequently provides strategic HR and employment advice both in Germany and across Europe and assists global companies with their day-to-day human resources issues, such as hiring, termination, benefits and policies. He has much experience in the private equity, financial services, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

Matthew also manages and coordinates cross-border employment projects, including M&A-related advice, business transfers, restructuring, pensions, benefits and outsourcing.

Matthew is actively involved in advising on Brexit and assisting businesses to relocate to Germany and to Frankfurt as an international financial centre.

Matthew spent a total of one year in the firm’s London office, three months in the firm’s New York office and three months in the firm’s Stockholm office, all focused on his employment expertise and providing him with in-depth knowledge of different jurisdictions.  

Work highlights

In addition to his counselling of clients such as Balfour Beatty, ITT, Rio Tinto and a number of investment banks and financial investors, Matthew regularly acts as the global or chief German employment law adviser on complex matters, including advising:

  • Schneider Electric on the £1.3bn proposed reverse takeover of Aveva
  • TDR Capital on the acquisition of Touax Solutions Modulaires
  • Deere & Company on its US$5.2bn acquisition of family-owned Wirtgen Group
  • Engie on the asset deal involving five oil fields and three gas fields in northern Germany
  • Montagu Private Equity on its acquisition of Universal-Investment
  • Revlon on the acquisition of Elizabeth Arden
  • Bayer on the dual track procedure for the sale or IPO of Bayer’s plastic division, Bayer MaterialScience, with 60 countries involved, and the subsequent IPO of Covestro
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch on a Europe-wide group restructuring

Professional experience

Matthew has spoken at many conferences and seminars and is currently much in demand in relation to Brexit and its consequences for business. He regularly speaks at events in the United States and also publishes in legal journals, as well as being asked for his views by the media. His articles include:

“Labour law considerations when making a European acquisition or divestiture: a long way from U.S. law”, Westlaw Journal Employment, September 2017, with Bennett Epstein

Education and qualifications

Matthew studied English law and German law at the University of Kent and the University of Marburg.

Matthew speaks fluent German, English and a little Swedish.